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Friday, May 23, 2008

Eurovision semi 2: recap

posted by on May 23 at 11:40 AM

It’s the second semi-final and already I’m feeling the exhaustion. I really can’t handle that much excitement, I am getting older you know. This time we’re making do with Cornald, the Dutch commentator because Belgian TV is too cheap to show every single Eurovision event this year. Shame on you, VRT. And no I will not press my digital red button, you bastards! I don’t have one of those. And I don’t want one either. Cornald will do just fine, and he immediately welcomes “all the Flemish viewers” as well. Bit cocky, isn’t he.

There we go. The “Te Deum”, though the people humming it are now overgrown with grass. Eak! It’s probably Greece’s tropical garden from Tuesday… That’s what happens when you’re too cheap to get a gardener. What follow is the campest, kitschest spectacle since Tuesday’s Azerbaijani performance: A man with a horse coming out of his arse (with very cheap plastic hind legs), women in dresses that seem to made from that very same Greek tropical garden (Kalomira will be left with just a bald plastic heart on Saturday), a mega orgy with a knee swing (even Serbians miss Kate Ryan) and on come our intrepid presenters. Jovana waves at everyone like she’s the Queen of England (She learnt from the best) and Zeljko just grins. Serbian men, they’re so quiet.

The sofa entertains the possibility that Belgium might take part again, as a surprise. “You guys deserve a second chance”, because surely we do. Or perhaps we can be the interval act. We wouldn’t look out of place in the interval now would we.

Still, we proceed to the first performance and it’s the one I’ve been waiting for. The one I wore my big earrings for (before I immediately took them out again because those bastards hurt like hell), my slutty dress and my home-made Icelandic flag. Climaxing early can be a disappointment, but this one wasn’t. Iceland delivers The Camp in a fabulous way. The sofa grumbles something about “dull soulless dance music” and how his arms are nothing compared to Israel’s. Her arms however, that’s something else, she could probably beat Israel in armwrestling. Or just eat him alive, you don’t mess with her, that’s for sure. By the end of the song –during which I keep jumping up and down hyperactively- everyone agrees that they’re both great singers and deserve a place in the final. Go Iceland! Go Palli!

Now Sweden does disappoint me. Oh, she’s a great singer, sure. Her botoxed and surgeoned face is quite surreal and deserves points in itself. There’s also a glittery dildo to sing in, which is well… intriguing. Charlotte is so thin however that you can hardly see her behind the microphone stand. Eat a cookie, sweetheart, it won’t kill you. And is it just me or does the wind machine not reach its full potential? That’s just not done! Especially since this is Sweden, home of the wind machines!! It’s pretty likely Carola just sabotaged the thing in an effort to keep Charlotte from reaching the final. Between you and me, I think Carola is capable of just about anything. Oh! But there are shiny lasers! Pretty! Beam her up back to her planet, Scotty! It’s still good, but I expected so much more. I want Abba back.

Turkey is a big hit with a lot of people and I just didn’t get it tonight. It’s just boring to me. Gimme back some glamour. There’s not a gay man in sight! This is Eurovision, people, what are you thinking. I get scolded by the sofa for having said in my preview that the lead singer was cute. “He looks like an ugly Sylar” they say “and Steve Buscemi’s playing guitar”. Yeah… I suppose so. Sorry for misleading you, Sofa.

Thankfully the glamour is back with Ukraine: the best example of “coming out of the closet” I’ve ever seen! Obviously a shout out to all the shy gay teenagers watching Eurovision with mum and dad. Obviously. Ani Lorak performs the hell out of this song (take note of that performance, Charlotte). Her backing dancers are more fabulous than those of Sweden and Iceland put together and we start suspecting that no one at Eurovision Headquarters bothered turning off the wind machine between the songs (“they’ll all use it, let’s just leave it on”).I don’t think Shady Lady is anything special on CD, but like many Ukrainian entries, once you see it performed, it’s another matter entirely. The choreographer deserves a medal! And so does Ani. Do that thing again where you crawl on the closet… nice.

I’m turning into Terry Wogan. I can feel it. Someone save me.

Ah, Lithuania can do the trick. How nice of the contest to already give us a toilet break. They must’ve known we’d need one after all the excitement of the first four songs. Jeronimas is “lord of the rings” according to the Girlfriend and that weird pair of trousers does him no good. He does have a plasma TV for a belt buckle, I can imagine that’ll come in handy. The wind machine is still on and the Sofa is convinced that Jeronimas is a creature of the night. “If you don’t vote for me, I ‘ll eat your children”. The Serbians try to intervene with their “dry ice”, we think they’re trying to gas him so he’ll stop singing, but it doesn’t work. Three minutes can last an awfully long time. Glad that’s over.

Cornald tells us Albania is about how sometimes you have to suffer for love. No need to tell us about suffering, we just sat through three minutes of it! She’s wearing a vest that’s too short (“you’ll catch a cold like that”), she’s young and probably a bit scared and the Sofa wonders if she shouldn’t be at school. And what on earth is she singing about. It’s still nice though.

Ah Switzerland. Way to confuse us with a title like “Era Stupendo” which, according to Cornald means “it was/would be great”. I was convinced it meant “it was stupid”. Like this song. I know the Swiss don’t like to hear it, but this was out of tune the whole way through. You wonder why you didn’t get through? That’s why! And because you stole SABENA from us! You thieves! They also stole Dima Bilan’s 2006 piano and for some reason they’re wearing leather pants. Leather pants are hardly ever a good idea. They’re so earnest, though, and so incredibly dull… ugh. It makes me want to chuck things at the TV. It actually almost –almost!- makes me miss DJ Bobo.

Every year we can rely on one country to send us teenaged slutty girls and this year the honour goes to Czech Republic. “Have some fun” Tereza shrieks, with no consideration for our eardrums or the notes she’s meant to be singing. The camera men are a bit confused because we keep seeing images of midriffs and butts. Or perhaps that was intentional after all. The DJ thinks he’s 50 cent. A version 50 Cent who enjoys standing in front of glittery angel wings then. Some street credibility you’re building up there, Mr DJ, “Yo yo yo, here I am at Eurovision with my hos”.

Belarus is the last European dictatorship, Cornald tells us. It is? I didn’t even know that. The sofa quips “and that’s why the president himself is taking part tonights”. Why else would they have sent this guy, he can’t sing, he doesn’t look particularly great and he does something weird with Christmas tree decorations. “You’re as cold as Arctic Ice” he sings “Thank god for global warming” the Sofa replies.

And here are the Latvian pirates. It’s like a kids’ tv show on speed. The funniest thing is that one of these pirates took part last year with the Italian opera-themed horrible granny song “Questa Notte”. Talk about range and diversity! I wish he’d have done last year’s song in this year’s outfit. That would’ve been great. The pirates look like they’ve all had boob jobs and our Eurovision Virgin wonders “how did they think up this stuff”. Pure genius, I suppose. “I wish they’d take the contest more seriously” the sofa mutters before heaping praise on Tuesday’s Azerbaijani entry. Now that was a quality performance!

Commercial break and I realise that… I can’t vote in this semi. I’d totally forgotten.
Shock! Horror! How will Iceland manage without my undying support and enthousiasm.

I don’t have long to contemplate this because it’s already time for Croatia. “Was that her leg sticking up vertically beside her ear?” I shriek. Yep, that was her leg. Some girls are capable of crazy moves. This song charms me from start to finish. Though I could have done without the ill-advised grandad-rap, and he looks as angry as your regular “get out of my front yard, you hooligans”-old guy in the street. The Sofa is deluded in how this is “in the same line as Ishtar and they won’t get through either”… let it go, sweeties, just let it go.

Wahey! Bulgaria has Denny Crane on guitar and a girl in her Moulin Rouge-underpants. The turntables are on fire and Cornald tells us that both Belgium and the Netherlands (“the godfathers of dance music” he calls us) should send stuff like this. I couldn’t agree more.

Oh Denmark, trying the “decent” card again. And it works! How is that possible? Part of the sofa actually falls for this crap? I’m astounded and disappointed in my friends. “But he’s so enthusiastic” a naïve one proclaims, “come on, it’s not that bad” someone else dares say. Yes it is! Yes it is that bad. It’s boring, “Put on your blue suede shoes” for crying out loud, no one wears blue suede shoes. “Sure they do, Elvis does!” the sofa replies. “Elvis is dead!” I shout. “No he’s not!”. Aaaargh!

Georgia comes on and she’s wearing a bin bag. She’s also clutching a giant crucifix so I’d mock her for her apparent religiosity without a second thought, but *whispers* I don’t dare to make any blind jokes. Ok, just one remark: The sunglasses are dire. You’d think they’d let her wear something with more sparkles, it’s Eurovision after all. The more she keeps singing, the more I really, really don’t care if peace (or piss) does come. According to Cornald the giant white sheet under which she does her clothes change represents world peace. Yes. I knew that.

Hungary has an ugly pianist and an even uglier dress. We start considering the possibility that the Song Contest has one group of four gay backing dancers and every country just uses the same guys. You know, to save some money for when the Big Four give up financing the contest. Or just in the spirit of unity of course.

Oh look there, it’s Ruslana with glitter boots on! Malta is crazy, pretty silly and very er… un-Maltese but Morena knows how to sell a song. The Sofa thinks she already drank a bottle of vodka and the Girlfriend remarks that she fancies Marija Serifovic more than she fancies Morena. I keep wanting to add more kitsch to this performance. I don’t know… photos of Poetin in the background, empty bottles of vodka, Sidney Bristow in her underwear… anything!

Cyprus comes on and The Sofa immediately proves their Eurovision Maturity: there’s a clothes change coming on. She could have been more subtle about it than just putting a silver dressing gown over her dress! The same four backing dancers turn up again, but this time they also sing. I think they should start a band and enter for Switzerland or Austria. If they all have different nationalities, they might be on to a winner!

Oh. Interval time and the green room presenters think they should sing. Whoever gave them that idea? Shut the hell up!

And leather is yet again the theme for FYR Macedonia though for some reason the lead singer is dressed like a 50-year-old. I think she even has a perm. And her gangsta friends are wearing white bermudas and white socks. Why? No, I don’t get it. The Girlfriend is the only one that does and she’s swaying from side to side. I think it might be time for her valium.

Portugal, “You should vote for this because it’s the only song about a fishing boat accident” Schlagerblog remarked. And I’m inclined to agree with them. Yes, her dress is ugly, but her backing singers are dressed in just a sheet (and one of them is verrrrry hot) and the song is filled with pathos and sadness. The wind machine kicks in! There’s a storm at sea! The Sofa isn’t unanimous in their love of this, and they consider the fact that Vania might have just killed her husband herself and uses the fishing boat story as a cover up. Heathens.

Voting time and Lys Assia (winner of the first contest in 1956) is there to open the vote. “What did you think about the contest so far?” she’s asked. She says it’s great. In the mean time you know she’s thinking “It’s a load of crap. Back in my day, you didn’t have all this nonsense!”
The interval act is the worst I’ve ever seen, it features zombies or something like that… we think the Lithuanian guy just encountered these guys backstage and feasted on their blood. We now also know that’s probably why the Georgian singer was wearing such a big crucifix. Protection!

And the results… oh the results. Who made it?
- In the spirit of classy music: Albania, Croatia and Portugal
- In the spirit of “I’m sure some people like this but it’s really not me”: Turkey, Denmark and… Georgia. Ugh.
- In the spirit of “What the fuck??”: those bloody awful Latvian pirates. (must be the jury vote. I’m sure of it)
- In the spirit of the Ubergaying of Eurovision: Sweden, Ukraine and ICELAND!!! Yay!

RSS icon Comments


I miss DJ Bobo every day.

Well, I miss traumatizing my friends with him, at least.

Lavtia is through because the Latvian pirates are incredible, damn it. That's why. I've yet to watch the whole broadcast, but I still love the pirates. They're pirates! Their song makes little sense and they're all dancing around like crazy, I love it.

I will miss Bulgaria and Malta, early favorites of mine.

But Iceland, I am all about.

Posted by Abby | May 23, 2008 12:31 PM

i'm watching it now. bosnia-herzogovina was fucking weird. and what's with all the songs in english? i wanted to iceland's song in icelandic, pliss.

Posted by scary tyler moore | May 24, 2008 12:53 PM

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